Tamil Nadu

CM takes a dig at MLAs who switched sides

War of words ensues after Minister recalls Senthil Balaji’s speech

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday took a dig at former AIADMK legislators who had joined the DMK, saying it was the AIADMK that gave them recognition and offered them a space in politics.

“The office-bearers and cadre of the AIADMK worked and secured votes for them. The party offered them positions. But they left for the DMK,” he said in the Assembly.

The Chief Minister’s remarks came after the DMK members took objection to a Minister recalling certain remarks made by legislator Senthil Balaji against the erstwhile DMK regime when he was holding the Transport Portfolio in the AIADMK government. Mr. Balaji is now a DMK legislator.

The House witnessed tumultuous scenes when Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabhaskar, while supporting certain remarks of AIADMK MLA Pavunraj, recalled Mr. Balaji’s speech, in which he had mocked the erstwhile DMK regime.

The DMK’s contention was that the name of a deceased leader could not be mentioned since the Speaker had already given a ruling to this effect. “Will you allow us to mention the name of your leader in the House?” asked DMK Whip R. Chakrapani.

Speaker’s stand

Speaker P. Dhanapal said there was nothing wrong in the Minister’s remarks as he had only quoted what had been recorded in the House. “I cannot change what has been recorded in the House. I cannot give a ruling to suit you,” he said.

As the war of words caused pandemonium in the House, the Chief Minister said the Minister had cited Mr. Balaji’s speech to explain the nature of the person who had joined the DMK.

“We are not saying anything new. We are recalling his speech to remind you to be cautious about the person. Our intention is not to criticise you or your leader,” the Chief Minister said.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 10:09:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cm-takes-a-dig-at-mlas-who-switched-sides/article28494262.ece

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